Chapter One: Through Dangers Untold and Hardships Unnumbered
Thunder clashed out into the night as the room flashed alive with the electricity that flooded the sky. Being on the seventh floor, rain could be heard as it tumbled over the strong structure. One such woman laid in her bed, tears still streaming down her cheeks as she listened to the loud roar that encased the castle, the sounds filling her head as she tried to fall asleep. Her hand remained glued to her stomach like it had been for the last couple days. She wasn't sure, but she just felt that something was wrong with her. Lightning flashed again and brought her room to life once again around her. She could see the trunk that laid at the end of her bed, the desk to the right. Then it was dark again, but still, those two objects remained imprinted in her mind until the thunder clashed once more and the lightning brightened her room. She could see her door to the small common room; she could also see the door to her bathroom. The storm was beginning to become unbearable as she closed her eyes tightly. A rather loud crash left her squeaking in fear and hiding her head under the covers much like she had done when she was younger.
Dark, billowing robes came behind her, wrapping their hand around her head and grasped her mouth, disallowing speech to come from her. She searched around frantically, soft brown orbs looking every which way. The group she was with had already made it half way up to the castle. Surely they would notice she wasn't with them any longer. To her dismay, her captor began to drag her towards the Forbidden Forest. He dragged her passed Hagrid's hut and through an opening of trees and seemed to be looking for a suitable spot to stop.
Another loud crash rang throughout her room. This time, she couldn't stop the muffled scream that came from her lips. Being Head Girl, she was given special accommodations – despite how much she told the new Headmistress that she didn't need her own quarters, but it seemed as if her old Transfiguration teacher was going to have none of it. With a soft smile, she had accepted the room she shared with the Head Boy. They had become civil towards each other – finding that their constant bickering did absolutely nothing to help them get their job done. And so, for that year, they made a truce to keep their blossoming friendship open only for business matters. Soon, she heard her door open and quietly close shut. "Hermione, are you okay?" The voice was soothing to her. They had finally slipped onto a first name basis and she peeked out from under her covers. With a large flash of lightning, she was the blonde mop of hair she had come to respect. She softly nodded but slowly shook her head as she changed her answer. She knew he had seen her when she felt her bed dip in a bit on her left side. Hermione felt his arms encircle around her and bring her close. "Are you afraid of the thunder?" At this, she nodded. His hug strengthened as he pulled her closer to him.
The figure stopped walking once they were far enough for anyone to see them from the castle and threw her on the ground. Opening her eyes, she looked around. Ten, twenty, thirty Death Eaters stood around her in a circle. She felt the presence of evil behind her and twirled around on her bottom to see Lord Voldemort staring at her. "Wonderful job, Lucius. Have you gotten word from Snape yet?" She whipped her head back around to see the man the Dark Lord referred to. The platinum hair and steely blue eyes showed no remorse for the girl in front of her. Lucius just nodded as he kept his eyes on the girl.
Hermione had somehow made it through the night and was glad when morning finally came. She looked out the window to see that the grounds showed no trace of the storm she had witnessed the night before. A knock came to her door and she quickly removed the covers that tangled around her legs and went to open it. A smile came to her lips when she saw the Head Boy already in his school uniform. "Morning." He said brightly, a smirk-like smile falling on his lips. "I am sorry about the storm. I just wanted to let you know that breakfast starts in twenty minutes." With a nod, Hermione closed the door and looked around her room. She went straight for her trunk and grabbed her own school uniform. Going to the bathroom, Hermione started her shower to warm up the water as she went to go brush her teeth. It didn't take her long before she hopped in the shower and thoroughly cleaned herself before changing into her uniform and robes. Only a week and a half, Hermione. You can do it. Normally, the girl didn't think this way; she would have loved to stay at Hogwarts if it meant not having to face the real world. Harry would have to fight the Dark Lord and no one knew what that outcome would be. Hermione just hoped that everything turned out right – since she wouldn't be there to help. She felt traitorous to her friends for leaving as soon as possible. She didn't want to, but she couldn't hang around here. She just couldn't face him.
"Come, come, my dear girl. We just have a message to relay for Potter." The voice was close to her, in her ear. She could feel the warmth that came from the mouth of the Dark Lord. Hermione was positive that they just wanted to give her a message, or else Lucius would have just given it to her in the form of a note. Hermione closed her eyes as she heard another set of footfalls join the group and heard the icy voice of Voldemort. "Ah, Severus. Welcome to our party." They voice held a faint hint of amusement and Hermione had to open her eyes. She saw her potions professor standing before the Dark Lord and herself. His expression was nonplussed as he looked from Hermione to Voldemort. She could see in his eyes that he wasn't the happiest in being here. "I have a job for you. I have been given a sort of… rumor that you haven't been entirely loyal to me." Voldemort sounded as if he had to search for a word and used one that just didn't seem to fit perfectly. Still, he went on. "Malfoy has graciously brought me Ms Granger to help give a message to Potter." Snape looked as if he were going to open his mouth to say something when the evil male behind her began to speak again. "I entrust that Ms Granger will give my message to the boy, but who is to say I cannot make her fear for her life in the process."
Hermione's eyes widened as she listened to the man behind her. She looked for a twinkle of hope in Snape's dull, black eyes that he wouldn't harm her. She was at a loss when nothing was found. Shutting her eyes, she feared for the worst and tried to keep her cries down. "What is it that you suggest I do to the girl?" Snape drawled at the Dark Lord. He seemed to have come to the same conclusion as Hermione had for what Voldemort wanted him to do to her. She heard Snape's footsteps walk passed her as she heard the Dark Lord whisper something to Snape. She only realized that it was truly happening when she felt herself grabbed by two of the Death Eaters. It was then that she opened her eyes to see Snape unzip his trousers and felt Lucius pull away her knickers.
Hermione was startled when she heard a knock come to her door. Slowly, it opened to reveal Draco's blonde hair as he looked at her. He noticed how shaken she had become and walked over to her, pulling her into a hug. "Are you okay?" He asked her quietly. He knew the answer as soon as the words left his mouth. Pulling away from her, Draco looked at Hermione sympathetically. He knew what happened to her. He had heard it from his father and had confronted Hermione about it. It took her a few weeks for her to stop acting cold and distant towards him, realizing that he had no part in his father's scheme with the Dark Lord. A sigh fell from Hermione's lips and Draco pulled her away gently, looking at her. His smirk-like smile was placed on his lips once more. "Come on, we don't want to be late for breakfast. Potter and Weasley will be there to cheer you up, that is, if they realize that you are upset."
Hermione managed a small smile at his words and nodded weakly. She desperately needed food in her system and talking to Ron and Harry might help more than it could hurt, she hoped. He was about to turn around and make his way down the stairs when she stopped him, softly calling his name. "Draco. I want to thank you. If not for you, I might have just gone down there and done something rather horrible." Hermione looked away, unable to meet his eyes. "He didn't say anything to me. He didn't apologize, he didn't stand up for me, nothing." It was Draco's turn to sigh. He went over and grabbed her hands. He wasn't fond of talking about what his father pressured Snape into doing. He nodded his understanding and pulled her slightly, letting her know that he wanted breakfast just as much as her stomach wanted it. Hermione let Draco pull her and the moment they left the portrait, to which their rooms were secured, he let go of her hands and they went their separate ways. Behind closed doors, they may have been friends, but to keep up pretenses, they went on with their usual bickering and name-calling. When Hermione made it into the Great Hall, she immediately went over to the Gryffindor table and sat next to Ginny and across from the boys. She hadn't told them what happened that frightful night, she didn't need Ron worked up more than he already was due to the Quidditch match that afternoon and she knew Harry didn't need the added stress. She also knew that Ginny was dealing with Harry's stress, trying to make sure he remained calm. When she sat down, the boys looked at her, greeted her a good morning and went back into the conversation they had been having.
She looked at Ginny questioningly and the redhead smiled. "Trying to get Ron to ask Luna out." She whispered to Hermione. She nodded her understanding and grabbed for some buttered toast to smear on pumpkin jelly. Her eyes wandered up to the Head table and saw Snape in his usual seat, eating his ham steak and eggs. The boys were oblivious to the interaction, but Ginny caught on quickly. "What's going on between you and him?" Ginny asked quietly. "The boys keep saying that he refuses to notice you during class and has just excluded you fromhis lectures." Hermione just shrugged. Since that night, Snape had acted rather differently to her. He didn't yell at her; he didn't call on her when she was the only one who had an answer to a question; he wouldn't even talk to her when she went to ask him a question. All she had received from the snarky old man was Go back to your seat, Ms Granger. I'm fully aware at your capacity to figure out the answer to your question on your own. When Hermione hadn't answered Ginny's question, she felt a sharp jab to the side of her arm. "Hermione. What's with you?" A sad smile came to her lips as she watched her friend's genuine concern for her spike.
Hermione thought about answering Ginny, telling her everything that happened that night, but stopped herself when she noticed that Harry was rising to leave. Looking up, she noticed that half of the students had already left. "I have to go. We'll talk later tonight, right?" She asked Ginny. With a nod from her friend, she grabbed her bag and headed down to the dungeons where she had Potions with Draco and Harry. Taking her usual seat next to Harry, she noticed a small piece of parchment waiting for her. Looking curiously at Harry, she just seemed to shrug. Turning it over, she noticed it was blank. Looking around, she noticed Draco staring at her and decided she would read the invisible note later. Placing it neatly in her pocket of her robes, she returned her attention back to the front where Snape had just walked in. The class was uneventful as she just decided it wasn't worth her time trying to get Snape's attention when she knew the answers. The hour and a half went moderately fast and soon she was walking out of there with Harry, talking rather animated. Suddenly, she remembered the note in her pocket. "Hey Harry, I'll catch up with you, Ginny, and Ron at the game. I need to go do something." With that, Hermione left Harry standing in the hall by himself, looking at her questioningly.
Hermione made her way to the common room she shared with Draco and stepped in to find him standing there, almost as if he were waiting for her. "Hey Hermione." He said quietly. His tone was soft as she walked up to him and sat down on the couch. She waited to see if he wanted to continue. It seemed forever before he began to talk again. "I wanted to ask you a few questions about that night." He said cautiously. She softly nodded, unsure if she wanted to even hear his questions. Taking in a deep breath, she softly nodded her head to and fro, giving him signal that he could go on. A small sigh came from the boy in front of her. Slowly, his lips began to move as she tried her hardest to listen to the words. "I know my father told me what happened… but I want your side of the story." When it seemed evident to him that she wasn't going to answer him that easily, Draco uncharacteristically responded with, "please?"
A small smile lifted her head when she heard the unMalfoy-like plea for her thoughts on how the night had gone for her. All of the images of the night flooded her mind once again. Being captured, hearing his dark voice, telling Snape that he wanted Hermione to fear for her life; to break her. She remembered when she opened her eyes and when the Death Eaters grabbed at her to hold her down. She remembered being ripped apart, her virginity being torn away. She remembered that ugly man Draco called father as he whispered dirty words into her ear, telling her he'd kill her if that note didn't reach Harry. Of course, she had quickly run to the Headmistress's office as soon as she possibly could. She told them about the Death Eaters and Lucius Malfoy dragging her away. She remembered the Dark Lord sneering at her and holding her by the hair tightly. Slowly, she began to tell Draco what had happened. She told him what Snape did to her; she told him about the message relayed to her for Harry. And lastly, she told him how no one else knew within the castle walls with the exception of Draco, Snape, and herself.
When she finished relaying her thoughts to Draco, Hermione looked outside her window to see that the game between Gryffindor and Hufflepuff had already begun. Telling Draco that she had told the boys and Ginny she would be there for the game, she quickly got up to go out the door and quickly onto the stands that surrounded the pitch. She found Luna standing in the bleachers already, cheering on for Gryffindor. Hermione quickly passed by a few of her housemates and slipped beside the blonde-haired girl. "How are they doing thus far?" Hermione called into Luna's ear. The younger girl jumped slightly and turned to see Hermione. She quickly smiled and gave the score. Seventy to fifty with Gryffindor in the lead. She nodded as she searched for her three friends. It didn't take long to spot out the two red heads along with Harry, who was watching the sky carefully. It didn't take long for Harry to spot the snitch. Both teams came down as Harry held out the golden ball for all to see. Gryffindor won two-hundred and twenty to Hufflepuff's infinitesimal fifty. Luna muttered something about going to find Ronald and Ginny to congratulate them. Hermione just smiled and began to walk back to the castle. She could always congratulate the boys and Ginny later when she went to meet them for a bit in their house common room.
Muttering the password to her own common room, Hermione walked in to find Draco sitting on the couch doing some reading. "Getting that potions essay finished?" She asked him with a smile. She sat down next to him to see what it was he was reading as she began to take off her shoes and socks. A Guide to Understanding Complex Potions Year Seven. Well, that had answered her question. Looking around the room, she began thinking more on what had happened that night.
The feeling that erupted within her burned painfully. She tried to scream out but she felt one of the Death Eaters place their hand over her lips. "Now, now… we wouldn't want the entire school to think someone was being tortured, now do we?" Tears welled in her eyes as she looked into Lucius Malfoy's eyes. The steel blue hues showed no remorse for her feelings, for what they were putting her though. With a cold hand, Malfoy took her head by her chin and turned her head so that she could watch Snape. "Pretty, isn't he? He loves this part." The words sank into her. Slowly, her lids gave away and a single tear dropped onto her cheek. Suddenly, she felt a rough object being swept over her cheek and felt a slimy residue left over. That was when she realized that Malfoy had just licked the tear away from her. "Dear girl, there is nothing to cry over. You had to lose it sooner or later."
A gasp befell Hermione when she felt the feelings she had experienced that night. Draco looked over at her and curiously stared. "You okay, Hermione?" The brunette softly nodded her head as she brought her legs up and cradled herself. She had been feeling rather sick lately and wondered if she were coming down with the flu. Draco continued to look at her with a sign of sympathy. He knew what his father was capable of and there was no doubt in his mind that Hermione was thinking about that terrible night. "Maybe you should go see Pomfrey." Draco urged her. He had been telling her this ever since she told him what happened to her. Hermione shook her head but this time, Draco wasn't taking no for an answer. He had heard her in her bathroom in the dead of night and the earliest of mornings. Sometimes, Draco had even wondered where the food came from that came up. "If you don't go there now, I'm taking you myself."
With a nod and a sigh, Hermione stood up and pulled on her white socks, followed by her black school shoes. She knew he wasn't just worrying over her randomly and knew something was wrong. Moving out to exit their common room, Hermione made her way to the second floor where the Hospital Wing was located. Opening the door, Hermione looked around the Wing to see if she could spot the nurse. When she didn't come into view, Hermione went to her office and knocked quietly on the door. "Excuse me…" Hermione said quietly. When Madame Pomfrey looked up, she gave Hermione a warm smile.
"What can I help you with, dearie?" Pomfrey said with a smile as she walked over to see Hermione. She brought her back into the hospital wing where the beds rest and had Hermione sit down on a bed.
Hermione looked down at her shoes. "Well, I haven't been feeling quite well these past few weeks. I've been vomiting and haven't had much to eat. Also, I haven't been sleeping well; I've also become afraid of things I shouldn't be afraid of." Hermione spoke so quickly; she even doubted the nurse heard what she said. But Pomfrey had Hermione lie down and cast various spells on the girl. A frown came to her face when she had tried a few different spells and they didn't seem to come out right. Pomfrey then tried a few more and was still rather upset when she couldn't come up with a diagnosis. Finally, she motioned for Hermione to stand up and tried two last spells upon her. When the first one didn't seem to work, she tried the last one. Her frown increased when this one seemed to not work either.
Madame Pomfrey looked up at Hermione with a confused expression. When a grave look overcame her, Hermione looked on curiously. "Maybe this one will work…" she muttered to herself before he eyes lit up. They seemed glad to come up with a diagnosis, but they also looked sad at what that diagnosis had come out to be. "Hermione dear, can I ask you a personal question?" Hermione timidly nodded, suddenly aware at what this question could be. "It may be against school regards, but have you been intimate with anyone? Have you had sex?" Hermione took in a deep breath and let it out slowly. Closing her eyes, she willed herself to say no, but her head bobbed back and forth, telling the concerned nurse yes. "I see, I see. Well, with you being so close to graduating, I won't tell, but it seems that you are pregnant, my dear." Hermione paled at this. H-how? How could it hav—oh yes, when Snape raped you. Hermione just nodded once again, afraid that this could perhaps leak out to the whole school. "Why don't you head back to your chambers and get some rest." Hermione just nodded and turned on her heel to leave when Madame Pomfrey called her back. "Make sure you take this before you go to sleep tonight. It will help with the morning sickness and a lot of the achy and tired joints you've been having." Hermione nodded once again, took the potion bottle from the nurse and quickly went up to the common room she shared with Draco. If anyone had to know, he did. He had been there for her and she hoped that he still would be.
Hermione opened the door to her chambers and quickly went to Draco. She found him on the couch where he hadn't moved, still finishing up essays. Looking up, he was about to say something when Hermione blurted out, "I'm pregnant." Draco looked taken aback at her valid statement. His mouth was hanging ajar from when he was about to speak. "You can't tell anyone." She whimpered lightly, grabbing at his arm. "Please?"
When he seemed to have gained back his voice, he cleared his throat and still looking at her, replied. "Pregnant? Good job, Granger." Looking at him curiously, she looked around the room and saw no one there. Looking at him inquisitively, she whimpered out something incoherent. "Listen that's great for you, might explain why you've been so irritating. Now, why don't you go up to your room and leave me to do my work in peace." She was dumbfounded, but found her feet dragging her to her room.
In her room, Hermione paced, the potion bottle left on her desk forgotten. What could she have done that upset him? Why was he even upset with her, he seemed so caring before then. With an hour to let her thoughts clear and then process, Hermione came up with Draco's comfort and sympathy was all just an act. "He knew what his father was going to do." She said to herself. "He knew and he didn't even warn me." Sighing, Hermione came up with her answer. If he doesn't want to be friends then we won't be. And with that done and closed, Hermione took the potion given to her and went to bed early.
The last week was rather uneventful for Hermione. She studied for her N.E.W.T.s and did all the essays she had been assigned. She took her N.E.W.T.s and passed them all with flying colors. She had finally made it. Seven proud years; a perfect record; and graduation right around the corner, Hermione could say she was pleased, if not for the child that grew inside her. Every day she had gone to see the nurse to make sure things were going well and according to plan. A plan she had made up the night after Draco and her stopped being friends and went back to being enemies. He had tried to talk to her about that night, but Hermione would have had none of it. She didn't need to listen to the traitor. She had also begun to spend more time in the Gryffindor common room before she had to go back to her own chambers. She sat and talked with Ginny, she watched as Harry beat Ron for the first time in Wizard's Chess – a very upset Ron followed for the next day and a half before she told him to get over it. She had also accompanied them to Hogsmeade a few times as well.
Everything had been going to plan. At graduation, she sat with her class as they were called up. She had spoken for her class, saying how proud she was of all of them and hoped they all got as far as they wanted in life, be it being an entrepreneur, or Minister of Magic, or even a jack-of-all-trades, if you will – of course, she tried to put into simple English, saying they could do a little of everything. She spoke with great pride and showed her lioness within. "Even though we all may have had a few mishaps here and there, we stuck by our friends and helped each other out with problems." At this, Hermione smiled at Ron and Harry. "I know I've my few of mistakes and troubles here, but I'm glad we all made it to this point. Congratulations everyone." Hermione walked down and back to her seat. They gave out diplomas and certificates stating that they had passed their seven years at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Quickly, Hermione hurried to where the Weasleys were congratulating Ron and Harry on their success and quickly went to hug Hermione as well. The Weasleys had offered the three a ride home each and they took it greatly.
Saying her goodbyes, Hermione walked into her house, found no one home and packed. She searched for all the money she had in her bank as well as a few coins and paper billings her parents owned. Writing them a note, she told them how she was sorry for unable to be home when they returned from their latest convention and Apparated away, without a trace.
Coming Soon: Just because you think you have the ideal life with your children, your past always comes back to haunt you...
Author's Notes: Well, here it is, the first story I'm about to upload (and I intend on finishing this one). I have it all thought out. ^^ Now, please review and tell me what you think of it. I should have the next chapter up within a few days, since I've been having a few problems with my kidneys. Also, please excuse any mishaps of errors (and please tell me at once) since I am still on the search for a beta reader. And if any of you want to help me out, then I'll be grateful to have your help! Thank you again for reading and I hope you enjoyed. Nothing in this story belongs to me, just the plot.
Update: Just had it beta-ed; I thank you to DBShaw who did an amazing job and helped me see a lot of what was missing for the story.
Title Courtesy of The Labyrinth